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Abu Bakr, also known as al-Siddiq (Arabic for “the Upright”), was the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s father-in-law, closest companion, and adviser. Abu Bakr was one of the first male converts to Islam and generously contributed his wealth to Muhammad’s mission. He continued to fulfill the Prophet’s political and administrative responsibilities.
See the fact file below for more information on Abu Bakr, or you can download our 27-page Abu Bakr worksheet pack to utilize within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- In 573 CE, Abu Bakr (full name Abd-Allah ibn Abi Quhaafah) was born in Mecca to Uthman, also known as Abu Qahafa, and Salma bint Sakhar, also known as Umm-ul-Khair. Their family were members of the Banu Taim tribe of Quraysh.
- In his early years, he played with calves, camels, and goats, and his fondness for camels gave him the nickname (kunya) “Abu Bakr”, the father of the camel’s calf.
- Like most Arab children of his time, he had no formal education. He was, however, a sharp observer who watched things around him with a great sense of perception. He acquired an eloquent style of speaking at a young age. He was literate and could write poems. Abu Bakr used to go to the yearly fair in Ukaz and join in poetical symposia.
- At 18, Abu Bakr entered the world of trade and chose to work for his family’s business as a cloth merchant. His company prospered, and he gained popularity in society. He became known as one of Mecca’s wealthiest businesspeople.
- Waqidi, an Islamic historian, described Abu Bakr as a man with a pale complexion and a slender build. His waist was slightly bent, so the fabric he wore around it often slipped down. He had a narrow face, deep-set eyes, and a prominent brow. He didn’t have any flesh on his finger joints. His height was proportionate to his physique. His hair was curly. He had his beard dyed and had the appearance of a patriarch.
ACCEPTANCE OF ISLAM
- After his return from a business trip from Yemen, his friends informed him that during his absence, Muhammad had declared himself the messenger of God and established a new religion. Muhammad told Abu Bakr about his experiences in the cave of Hira, the angel Gabriel’s visit, and Allah’s mandate to bring the people to him. After hearing the account, Abu Bakr was inspired and convinced that what the Prophet had said to him was true.
- Only three of the Prophet’s family members, Khadija, Ali, and Zaid bin Harith, had accepted Islam. Abu Bakr was the first Muslim to be born outside of the Prophet’s family.
- In 622 CE, Muhammad ordered Muslims to migrate to Medina at the request of the Muslims of Medina. The migration happened in batches.
- Because of the threat posed by the Quraysh, they avoided the road and sought refuge in Jabal Thawr, a cave five miles south of Mecca. Muhammad and Abu Bakr left the cave after three days and three nights and proceeded to Medina.
- He was one of Muhammad’s close associates and supported him even when others questioned him. In the Quran, he is referred to as “the second of the two”.
- Muhammad decided to build a mosque in Medina. Abu Bakr chose and paid for a piece of land. On the site, Muslims, including Abu Bakr, constructed the Al-Masjid al-Nabawi mosque.
- Muhammad had to fight a series of battles to defend Islam from his new home in Medina. Abu Bakr accompanied Muhammad on most of his military missions and took part in the Battle of Badr, Uhud, Trench, Khaybar, Hunayn, and Ta’if.
DEATH OF MUHAMMAD
- As he was ill and nearing his death, Muhammad could not lead prayers as he usually did. Thus, he assigned Abu Bakr to take his place. Many saw this as a sign that Abu Bakr would succeed Muhammad.
- Muhammad’s death caught many Muslims off guard, and many were stunned. Muslims remained in this situation until Abu Bakr came and made his famous speech: “O People! If anyone among you worshiped Muhammad, let them know that Muhammad is dead; but those who worshiped Allah, let them know that Allah lives and will never die.” After adjusting to the tragic news of the Prophet’s death, Muslims understood they needed someone to fill the position of leadership among them.
- The Muslims of Medina resolved the succession issue by recognizing Abu Bakr as the first khalīfat rasūl Allāh (deputy or successor of God’s Prophet or caliph). He quickly pledged allegiance to Muhammad’s legacy, saying, “Follow me as long as I obey Allah and his messenger, but if I defy him and his messenger, you have no need to obey me.”
FIRST CALIPH OF ISLAM
- Abu Bakr was the Head of State and the Head of Government as Caliph. As the Prophets’ representative, he also served as the religious leader. He was a constitutional ruler. However, the constitution in this case was holy rather than man-made.
- Problems occurred immediately after Abu Bakr’s succession, threatening the new community and state’s unity and stability. Various Arab tribes in Hejaz and Nejd revolted against the caliph and the new administration. Others renounced Islam and returned to their pre-Islamic beliefs and practices. The tribes claimed that they had bowed to Muhammad and that since Muhammad’s death, they had regained their freedom. Abu Bakr asserted that they had joined the Muslim religious society. Apostasy is a deadly offense under conventional interpretations of Islamic law, and Abu Bakr declared war against the rebels.
- After putting down internal conflict and conquering Arabia, Abu Bakr sent his generals to the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. Small armies were dispatched into Iraq and Palestine, capturing numerous towns. A successful expedition into Syria was also carried out.
- He was the first caliph who established Baitul Mal (the financial institution of Islam). He was the first Muslim caliph to construct crown pastures and implement Ijtihad (Islamic term for independent reasoning).
- Abu Bakr himself led the prayers. Every week at the Friday Khutba, he reviewed the issues and gained the public’s confidence in drafting Islamic policies.
- Abu Bakr was known for living a modest life. He refused to profit from the money coming into the treasury as caliph and lived modestly. Abu Bakr first served without pay. He also had no servants or guards.
PRESERVATION OF THE QURAN
- Abu Bakr played an essential role in preserving the Quran in written format. It is stated that after the hard-won victory against Musaylimah in the Battle of Yamama in 632 CE, Umar discovered that many Muslims who had memorized the Quran had been killed. Umar urged that Abu Bakr authorize the collection and preservation of the scriptures in written form, fearing they might be lost or corrupted. Abu Bakr was first hesitant since the Prophet had not done it himself. However, after some discussion, he agreed and assigned the task to Zaid ibn Thabit.
- The accumulated work was transcribed into sheets and cross-checked with Quran memorizers. The completed codex, known as the Mus’haf, was delivered to Abu Bakr, who passed it to his successor Umar before his death.
- On August 23, 634 CE, Abu Bakr died in Medina. His illness lasted a long time, and as his health worsened, he realized his end was near. Recognizing this, he summoned Ali and asked him to perform a ghusl (full-body ritual purification), as Ali had already done for Muhammad.
- Abu Bakr felt obligated to choose his successor so that the matter would not create conflict among Muslims after his death. After consulting with several of his associates, he selected Umar to be his successor. Because of Umar’s harsh nature, some opposed the nomination while others supported it.
- His death happened during the Maghrib and Isha prayers. He died at the age of 63. Umar led the burial prayer for him, and he was buried next to Muhammad’s tomb.
- Although his caliphate lasted only two years, he successfully invaded the two most powerful empires of that time: the Sassanid Empire and the Byzantine Empire.
- Abu Bakr is regarded as the first Caliph in Islamic history and was the first to appoint a successor. He was the only Caliph in Islamic history who surrendered the entire income he earned during his caliphate to the state treasury.
- Sunni Muslims regard Abu Bakr as one of the greatest man after the prophets. They also see Abu Bakr as one of the Ten Promised Paradise who, according to Muhammad, are destined for Paradise. He is recognized as Allah’s Messengers’ “Successor” (Khalifa Rasulullah).
- Abu Bakr’s historic role included the following accomplishments: his support for Islam, his repression of apostasy and unity of Arabia, his conflict with the giant empires of Byzantium and Persia, and the conquests of parts of great Iraq and Syria.
- William Muir wrote of Abu Bakr in his book The Caliphate, Its Rise, Decline, and Fall: “Abu Bakr had no thought of personal enrichment. Endowed with the sovereign and responsible power, he used it simply for the best interest of Islam, and the people’s good. But the magnificent secret of his strength was faith in Muhammad.”
Abu Bakr Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about Abu Bakr across 27 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching kids about Abu Bakr, who was the Islamic prophet Muhammad’s father-in-law, closest companion, and adviser.
Complete List of Included Worksheets
Below is a list of all the worksheets included in this document.
- Abu Bakr Facts
- Abu Bakr, the Man
- Major Happenings
- Tell Me Who
- Group It!
- Three in One
- Character Review
- Next in Line
- Full of Wisdom
- Feature the Relevance
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Abu Bakr famous?
Abu Bakr was respected by many people before he decided to become a Muslim. He was one of the first Muslims and a good friend of the Prophet Mohammad. The Prophet gave Abu Bakr the nickname al-Siddiq, which means “the truthful,” because Abu Bakr always believed him when he talked about Mi’raj. Mi’raj was a night journey during which he saw heaven.
How did Abu Bakr get his name?
In his early years, he played with camel calves and goats. He liked camels so much that people started calling him “Abu Bakr”, which means “the father of the camel’s calf.”
Did Abu Bakr write the Quran?
Muslims believe that Quran was spoken to the final prophet, Muhammad by God. Abu Bakr compiled the Quran into a book.
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Link will appear as Abu Bakr Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 10, 2022
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.